Newsletter Issue #8 -- June 25, 2019
I'm writing to give everyone a follow up report on the $100 Bill Devotion that
I recently submitted to the SSTN Newsletter. I was able to present it 3 times this week at
Lord's Locker! To understand the full impact of this follow-up, please
first read the $100 Bill Devotion,
then return here to read what happened!
I was amazed at what GOD did through this presentation! Since school is out for the summer, several of the children attended with their parents. I never thought this devotion would work for all ages at the same time! Was I wrong?! The 7 kids that participated ranged in age from 7 - 14 years old and were from two families. I was surprised that I had 100% participation - including 2 volunteers who were listening.
Everyone shared ideas of how they would use their $100. It was fun to hear the kids. One girl, about 10, was honest though, and said she didn't know what things cost, so she didn't know what she could do with it. She said that she'd save it until she figured it out. Other kids said they'd use it to buy toys, or a trip to a popular amusement area. The 14 year old said he would start saving for a car.
The parents said they would pay bills, buy food, take the family out for a fun evening at restaurant, while others wanted to save it, and a few women said it would be a secret stash to be determined later.
The big surprise came when I asked them to view this $100 bill as their life and respond by placing a crease or fold into the bill to represent those difficult times in their lives that were SPENT causing them pain (sadness, fear, worry, regret, depression).
I was absolutely set back as we all listened to the agonizing stories of suffering each one shared. The kids' stories blew me away, as I didn't think they would truly understand the depth of the devotion. A child, about 8, who was sitting next to her mom, said, "I get all messed up inside worrying about my parents getting a divorce. Their fighting sounds like that might happen." She looked up at her mom as she creased 2 to 3 folds into the $100 bill. The mom looked at her and said, "I knew you were going to say that."
Then her mom told about the depression of not knowing if there would be anyone to take care of her and the kids, and feeling worthless in trying to figure out what was best for everyone in the family. She added several more folds and crinkles to the bill.
A woman in her mid-60s, had her face and body punched almost every day of her childhood by her mother who yelled at her over and over, year after year, "You are a worthless piece of @%$# and will NEVER be worth anything!" While at the same time, her sister was treated the opposite way. She also shared that she never knew her father, that he abandoned her mother when she was pregnant. (Not sure our friend has figured out that she represented her birthfather to her mother and it was HE that her mother wanted to say those things to - and beat - as she did to her innocent child.)
Her brother said his fear was when his Grandma died; she had taken care of them
while their mommy was deployed. It had been 3 years since her death, but he
misses her terribly. He added, "Nobody loved me like Grandma did."
The 14 year old boy was the last one to get the $100 bill. He took a big, deep breath, and fighting back tears said, "My mom just bailed out of another addiction rehab program. She loves her drugs more than me!"
That boy took that $100 bill and waded it up into a ball--so crunched and tight--it no longer was identifiable! He shared more about the woman he was with that he now calls mom and how HE was never going to be a failure and was putting in applications THAT day to work at McDonalds, Subway, and Dairy Queen, so he could get close to 40 hours a week before school started and save his money so he NEVER needs drugs to take pain away!
I then took the bill back and put it in a bag of dirt and mud. I stepped on it, grinding it into the floor, then shared the pain of my son abandoning his 2 kids, and then repeated an abbreviated line of most of the things our guests had shared. I slowly took that nasty $100 bill out and slowly unfolded it, not saying anything for a few seconds.
I asked them to look at the nasty thing and asked, "WHO could possibly want it now?" There was about a 3 second lull, then one of the kids said, "Its still worth $100. I'll take it!"
I reminded them how filthy and messed up it was. I asked, "Is it really worth what it was designed for?" They all responded with a resilient YES! The kids started to be more animated about it and I saw tears in the parents' eyes.
The kids told me to "Wash the dirt off. Smooth out the wrinkles. Wipe it clean. It's still worth $100 and you can still buy anything with it!"
THEN, that 14 year old boy stole my thunder! He said, "THAT's what JESUS will do for US!"
Several people then admitted to feelings of anger and bitterness, and things they have said and done to those that had hurt them. The Scriptures GOD had me include in the devotion fit perfectly to address how we spend our time to invest in others and how we find our biggest worth that GOD had designed in us - for us to find and be fulfilled.
It was easy then to see their lives as that $100 - still with full WORTH as God intended. Each of us has the power to decide how our lives are to be SPENT. We have the same value today as when GOD created us--we are made in his image! We must say yes to GOD's plan to CASH IN on the best VALUE that HE designed and to INVEST our lives in others - for their good - to let them also know they are of great value--PRICELESS to GOD, our Creator!